HCARC Happenings

August 2014


News for Amateur Radio Operators In and Around Hillsdale County



No meetings in August.  The next club meeting will be Thursday, September 18.


This month the Ham Breakfast will be held on Saturday, August 9 at 8am at the Tastes of Life, 3380 Beck Rd in Hillsdale (map).  Everyone welcome!  The seven hams that attended July’s breakfast enjoyed an added bonus as someone anonymously picked up the tab!  Thank you to the anonymous benefactor!


On July 17 the club met at the Hillsdale Municipal Airport.  After the business meeting and refreshments, airport manager James Scheibner gave a presentation and tour of the facility to the nine members and three guests in attendance.  Club VP Anne Burchardt N8VIF provided refreshments.  Many thanks to Jim for allowing us to have our meeting there.



Membership Report

Club membership stands at 19 as of July 31.  Three new members joined in the last month.  Membership application is available here (print 2-sided).



New Hams

Congratulations to two new hams in the county.  Thomas E Stalder Jr KD8ZBH and Dakota Stalder KD8ZBI were both granted Technician licenses on July 3.  Be sure to say hi if you hear them on the air.



Field Day Review

Field Day was held on June 28 & 29 at Sprow Tax & Accounting.  We ran 3 stations plus a Get On The Air (GOTA) station.  We had 23 attendees.  Results show that we made 288 total contacts across 44 states, 3 Canadian provinces and the southern Pacific country of Tonga.  There were 141 phone contacts and 147 digital, mostly on 20 and 40 meters.  Andy Sprow KB9YJH made 171 contacts.  Thanks to everyone that participated and especially to Dan KC8RYF and Brenda Sprow for hosting the event.



Field Day Point Summary



Mode Multiplier


Digital QSOs




Phone QSOs




Total QSO Points




Power Multiplier








Claimed QSO Score












GOTA Power Multiplier








Total GOTA QSO Points








Bonus Points




Media Publicity




Set-up in Public Place




Information Booth




W1AW Field Day Message




Youth Element Achieved




Results Submitted Online








Total Bonus Points








Total Field Day Points






FCC Seeks to Raise Vanity Call Sign Fee

The FCC is requesting to raise the Amateur Service vanity call sign regulatory fee from its current $16.10 to $21.60 for the 10-year license term.  The $5.50 increase would be the largest vanity fee hike in many years.  Changes in the vanity call sign fee typically take effect in late August or early September.  (ARRL story)



ARRL Great Lakes Division Leadership Changes

ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver K8JE announced his retirement from the ARRL Board of Directors effective July 7.  Great Lakes Division Vice Director Dale Williams WA8EFK of Dundee Michigan is the Division’s new Director.  Tom Delaney W8WTD of CINCINNATI was appointed to the Vice Director position.  The Great Lakes Division is made up of Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky.  (ARRL story)



Election Day August 5

Tuesday, August 5 is Election Day in Michigan.  There are partisan primaries for governor, federal and state representatives and county offices.  There is also a statewide proposal on the personal property tax.  Jonesville is voting on a new city charter.  Several precincts are voting on millage proposals for schools and libraries.  There may be additional items on the ballot in your precinct.  Visit the Michigan Voter Information Center to check if you are registered and find other election information, including a map to your polling place and a sample ballot.  Be sure to get out and exercise your right to vote.



PRB-1 Update

The ARRL has introduced a grassroots effort to encourage radio amateurs to promote co-sponsorship of HR.4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  The measure, introduced in the US House of Representative with bipartisan support on June 25, would call on the FCC to apply the “reasonable accommodation” three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use restrictions regarding antennas.  With Congress going on its August recess in a few weeks, the campaign is focusing on contacting Members of Congress or their staffers at or through their district offices.  (ARRL story) 


ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN issued an urgent call to all radio amateurs to get behind the grassroots campaign to promote co-sponsorship of HR.4969, “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014.”   (ARRL story)  (View video)


Click here to follow the progress of US House HR 4969.


A Call to Action from ARRL Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R


July 31, 2014


Greetings to the hams of Michigan:



This is a special communication which is a "Call to Action" asking you to take certain steps on behalf of amateur radio. Typically, such communications have to do with topics that are important to the hams of Michigan and the nation. They may have to do with operating events or legislative issues. This is one of the legislative issues, but on a federal level.


On June 25, 2014, House Bill 4969 was introduced in the House of Representatives that calls on the FCC to amend section 97.15(b) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations so that such section prohibits application to amateur service communications of any private land use restriction, including a restrictive covenant, that - 


(1) precludes such communications;

(2) fails to reasonably accommodate such communications; or

(3) does not constitute the minimum practicable restriction on such communications to accomplish the legitimate purpose of the private entity seeking to enforce such restriction.


This is big, folks. Ok, now that I have your attention, here is what we need to do:


Now is the time for the hams of Michigan to begin a letter writing campaign. We have done this before on a state level for PRB-1, so this is not anything new, but it is just a bit different.


Everything we need is contained on the ARRL website: http://www.arrl.org/hr-4969.


On the website there is:


* All the information about the bill.

* A copy of the bill

* A sample letter in Word format, but easily handled by a number of free programs. The letter can be found in the tab entitled: How can I help to get HR 4969 passed? You will want to click on the last word of this sentence to open the link to the letter: "A sample letter can be found HERE"

* A spot to locate the name of your Representative (once you are logged into the ARRL main site, one click gives you the correct Rep based upon your address as listed on the ARRL membership database).

* Directions on how to send your letter (preferred route is to send a signed copy by email to HQ for hand delivery)

* Key talking points for discussing HB 4969 with friends or your representative.


In addition to writing your own letter, please talk to your ham friends and get them to do the same. Once you have done yours, you can be the "Elmer" for your club. Bring this up at your next club meeting and talk about it whenever and wherever hams gather. Ham breakfasts, lunch or dinners, on various nets and bring it up on the air in conversation. Get the information to your newsletter editor. This is a huge opportunity for amateur radio and we want to "get out the vote."


On the ARRL website, please note that you are asked to personalize the sample letter, sign it and email to ARRL HQ to the indicated address. In addition, please send a copy to me at wb8r@arrl.org. This will tell me how many letters have been sent so I will know how well we are doing.


Thank you in advance for your efforts and if you have any questions, you can feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you.



Larry, WB8R




Voice of America Cuts International Shortwave Broadcast Schedule

The Voice of America has phased out some 14 hours per day of international shortwave broadcast transmissions and ceased broadcasting on some of its customary frequencies.  Another 10 hours of daily cuts have been made to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Radio Free Asia (RFA) broadcasts.  The cuts, approved by Congress, will save taxpayers some $1.6 million annually.  (ARRL story)



Petition Allowing Hams to Operate Uncertified Transmitters on GMRS Denied

The FCC has denied a Petition for Rule Making filed by a Florida radio amateur that sought to permit hams who also hold General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licenses to operate on GMRS channels with transmitters that have not been certificated for GMRS use.  The New Smyrna Beach man had asserted in his filing that the proposed rule change would facilitate interoperability in emergency situations, since many emergency response groups utilize both radio services.  (ARRL story)



FEMA and ARRL Sign Memorandum of Agreement

The ARRL and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have announced a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will enhance cooperation between the League and FEMA in the area of disaster communication.  FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate KK4INZ and ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN signed the agreement July 18 during the ARRL National Centennial Convention Hartford, Connecticut.  “Radio is one of the most resilient communications technologies we have,” Fugate said.  “When the power is out and telecommunications are down, the Amateur Radio community can serve as a vital resource in support of emergency responders and survivors during a disaster.”  (ARRL story)



BPL Provider Pulls Plug on System

An Ohio broadband-over-powerline (BPL) Internet service provider is throwing in the towel and yielding to more modern technology.  Cincinnati Communications will pull the plug on its BPL system on August 1, according to a report on The Enquirer newspaper’s Cincinnati.com website.  “The failure of the Cincinnati system will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with BPL technology,” said ARRL CEO David Sumner K1ZZ.  “It’s rather remarkable that they managed to keep it going this long.”  (ARRL story)  (Enquirer story)



Emergency Activities

A Colorado radio amateur and his wife were hiking in the back country on July 21 when they encountered a team of paramedics rendering aid to a 67-year-old man who had lost his footing while crossing a stream.  The paramedics, who had been heading to a youth camp, also had stumbled onto the scene.  With no cell telephone coverage available, the radio amateur put out a distress call on the his HT.  The call was answered on the Colorado Connection Repeater System, and local authorities were contacted to complete the rescue.  (ARRL story)


Amateur Radio volunteers in California assisted local emergency managers and the American Red Cross by supporting communication at a shelter set up in the wake of the El Portal Fire in Yosemite National Park.  The fire got its start in the community on July 26, and evacuations were put into effect for surrounding communities, in addition to a nearby campground.  Tuolumne County ARES Emergency Coordinator Carl Croci NI6Z reported that several radio amateurs responded to the call to assist with shelter communications.  (ARRL story)


When severe weather erupted in Southern New England on July 27 and 28, SKYWARN volunteers went on alert to help forecasters track conditions and assist authorities with assessing the damage.  A super-cell storm system organized on the morning of July 28 and raced through portions of northeastern Massachusetts.  (ARRL story)



FCC Amateur Radio License Database Activity in Hillsdale County

07/03/14 KD8ZBH, Thomas E Stalder Jr., new licensee Technician        

07/03/14 KD8ZBI, Dakota Stalder, new licensee Technician        

07/07/14 KB8TGG, Levi Soltis, license renewed

07/11/14 KD8AJL, Paul Sanford, license renewed

07/24/14 KA8IEC, Gerald Jordan, license renewed, address updated

07/29/14 KC8UMF, Jason Knapp, license status set to expired



FCC Enforcement News

The curious Amateur Radio enforcement case of Maine man appears to winding down and may be at an end.  The FCC dismissed the man’s long-standing license renewal application on June 23, invoking its “Red Light Rule,” which gives the Commission authority to turn down a pending application if the applicant has an unpaid fine on the books.  The man was liable for a $10,000 FCC forfeiture stemming from violations over a period extending back several years.  (ARRL story)


The FCC Enforcement Bureau came down hard on two radio amateurs, proposing substantial fines for alleged deliberate interference to other Amateur Radio communications.  Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture released July 22, the Commission proposed fining a Parchment, Michigan man $22,000, and a Pennsylvania man $11,500.  In both cases, the FCC said the evidence indicated that the transmissions at issue were aimed at interfering with other radio amateurs with whom each “has had a long-standing and well-documented dispute” that had spilled out onto the air.  (ARRL story)


In a Notice of Violation released June 5, the FCC has alleged that an Oregon radio amateur caused malicious interference to other radio communications, transmitted music and failed to properly identify.  The FCC said agents from its Portland, Oregon office used radio direction-finding techniques to pinpoint the source of the interfering signal.  (ARRL story)




The new 2014-2018 Technician Class question pool (Element 2) went into effect on July 1 and remains valid until June 30, 2018.  The previous Technician question pool, released in 2010, is no longer valid.


The ARRL has posted a Centennial QSO Party leader board that participants can use to determine how many points they have accumulated in the Centennial QSO Party and in the W1AW WAS (Worked All States) operations.  Log in using your Logbook of The World (LoTW) user name and password, and your position will appear at the top of the leader boards.  Results are updated daily, based on contacts entered into LoTW.


The ARRL Centennial QSO Party kicked off January 1 for a year-long operating event in which participants can accumulate points and win awards in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ARRL.  During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from every state (at least twice) and most US territories, and it will be easy to work all states solely by contacting W1AW portable operations.  The event is open to all, although only ARRL members and appointees, elected officials, HQ staff and W1AW are worth points.  (ARRL story)  Lots of addition information about the centennial QSO party is available here.


ARRL membership certificates commemorating the League’s 100th anniversary in 2014 now are available.  Members logged onto the League’s website can generate their own certificates or cards online for printing.  (ARRL story)



Upcoming Events

August 9 – Ham Breakfast at Tastes of Life

August 9 – Angola Hamfest

September 3 – Board Meeting

September 7 – Findlay Hamfest

September 13 – Ham Breakfast

September 13 – Grand Rapids Area Hamfest

September 14 – Adrian Hamfest

September 18 – Club Meeting


Send us your comments and suggestions to K8HRC@arrl.net

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